Many years ago a preacher pointed out the curious statement at the beginning of Revelation 21:
“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea.”
I’ve been thinking about that ever since (among other things).
Now I am going to make some bold statements about it all and back it up with some Scriptures.
- The sea that is referred to is the one before the throne in the “old” heaven, i.e. the heaven that is there now (Rev. 4, 5).
- This heaven is also known as the third heaven (2 Cor. 12:2) and is the place where God’s throne currently is.
- The sea (Rev. 4:6) is the way time and events on earth look like to an observer in the third heaven (Dan. 7:2,3; Rev. 13:1). Spirits (winds) blow upon it and things are stirred up and come up out of the sea before the throne. However the most wonderful sight is that of the spirits of men worshipping God (Hebrews 12:22-24; Rev. 15:2).
So why is there no more sea when the new heaven comes along?
Well there is no more time nor difference between the spirit and the flesh in the new heaven. In this life the life of this mortal body is in the blood (Gen. 9:4; Lev. 17:11,14), in the new heaven the life of the immortal body will be in the spirit (Luke 24:39; 1 Cor. 15:44). When we are seen in the existing heaven it is our spirits that are seen. However in the new heaven we will be body and soul with the Lord forever.
There is also a very clear picture about being born again here. What happens when we are born again? Well, a baby moves from a place of breathing and living in water to breathing and living in air. So we too, according to this picture of rising above the surface of the sea in heaven, move from death beneath the waves to life in the spirit above them. The first time we do this is when we are raised together with Christ from death to life when we are born again. I believe that walking in the spirit means walking on water (on the sea) which explains one of the main points of that miracle (Matthew 14:22-33; John 6:19).
So if it helps you, the next time you are worshipping God either on your own or at church imagine that your spirit is rising up out of the sea before God’s throne in the third heaven. Because that may very well be what is actually happening (cf. Hebrews 4:16).